Norwich City U21s knocked out of Norfolk Senior Cup by Thetford Town
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2014
Super-sub Ian Fancett came off the bench to cause an upset at Mundford Road tonight as Norwich City Under-21s were dumped out of the Norfolk Senior Cup.
The midfielder was sent on by Thetford Town manager Mark Scott in the 64th minute and seven minutes later was enjoying the adulation of the home crowd.
Professional development coach Paul Wilkinson, a former Sheffield Wednesday assistant manager who joined City's academy last month, was in charge of the Norwich team with Dale Brooks still away with illness. FA Youth cup winners Carlton Morris, Cameron McGeehan and Reece Hall-Johnson were all involved, with Morris paired up front with Jamie Eaton-Collins.
McGeehan was playing alongside Ray Grant in central midfield but, along with Morris, cut a frustrated figure in the first half as the City youngsters struggled to adjust to a poor pitch.
Thetford were standing up to their task manfully though, with Ben Anderson looking tricky on the right and going closest to scoring in the opening stages.
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The winger seized on a loose ball in the centre of the Norwich half in just the third minute and goalkeeper Remi Matthews, captaining City for the night, needed two attempts to stifle the low shot.
Thetford keeper Scott Cruickshank was alive to the danger in the 12th minute when a long ball from right-back Cameron Norman was missed in the air by Eaton-Collins, beating Morris to the loose ball.
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The best move of the half was started by Brecklanders striker Bruno Tavares switching the play to Sam Bryant on the left, who played in the overlapping Alex McIntosh, whose cross nearly found Tavares but was claimed by Matthews.
The best chance of the half came for City though, in the 38th minute, with Cruickshank coming to the rescue for the hosts.
A deep cross from Norman bounced around the Thetford box and fell to Eaton-Collins near the penalty spot to fire goalwards, only to see Cruickshank sprawl to his left to push the shot behind for a corner.
Anderson again went close shortly after half-time, bursting through and firing just wide of the right-hand post with a low effort.
The big moment of the match came in the 71st minute though, after Thetford skipper Shane Leech won a ball in midfield and knocked the ball forward.
Fancett beat Norman to the ball and calmly closed on goal and curled a low shot round Matthews to spark wild celebrations.
Norwich huffed and puffed, with Reece Hall-Johnson hitting the bar from a Morris cross in the 82nd minute, but they could not find a breakthrough. Matthews even went forward for a corner as six minutes of injury-time were played but every effort was repelled by the home defence.
Thetford: Scott Cruickshank; Sam Bond, Luke Bailey, Mihails Propustins (Ryan Pearson 70), Alex McIntosh; Ben Anderson (Ryan Skipp 85), Elliott Smith, Shane Leech, Sam Bryant; Bruno Tavares (Ian Fancett 64), Ryan Pearson. Subs not used: Ashley Thompson, James Dean.
Norwich U21s: Remi Matthews; Cameron Norman, Nathan Fox Adel Gafaiti, Michee Efete (Jake Simpson 85); Reece Hall-Johnson, Cameron McGeehan, Ray Grant, Jamal Lewis (Kofi Boateng 64); Carlton Morris, Jamie Eaton-Collins (Lewis Byrne-Hewitt). Subs not used: Aston Oxborough (GK), Harley Black.
Referee: Mr N Walker